Marketing Myths

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Myth: One follow-up should be enough to convert a prospect
by Joe Gracia

One of the most common myths we come across is this one about follow-ups.

Quite often we hear business owners say, "What's the point of following up more than once with a prospect? If they don't buy immediately, obviously, they weren't really serious. Those types are just a waste of our time!"

This opinion is totally misguided, and results in thousands of dollars in lost sales. It shows a serious lack of understanding of human nature and the psychological buying sequence all prospects go through before making the final decision to buy.

We've seen businesses receive hundreds of calls from interested prospects asking for information about their products or services, and after mailing the information to those prospects, those business owners would routinely throw away their prospects' names and addresses. What an incredible loss!

YOU'LL LOSE 75% OR MORE OF YOUR SALES IF YOU FOLLOW-UP WITH YOUR PROSPECTS ONLY ONCE

Few of your prospects will have enough information or motivation to buy from you after just one follow-up from you. Stop after just one follow-up and you'll lose 75% or more of your potential sales.

Every week we follow up with all of our prospects -- that's hundreds of thousands of opt-in subscribers on our newsletter lists -- and each time we follow up, a consistent percentage of our prospects buy one or more of our products.

Here are the results of our prospect follow-up system:

  • 24% of our customers purchase from us with one follow-up.
  • 22% more of our customers purchase from us with three follow-ups.
  • 25% more of our customers purchase from us with six follow-ups.
  • 24% more of our customers purchase from us with twelve follow-ups.
  • 5% more of our customers purchase from us after thirteen or more follow-ups.
Can you see that if we only follow up with our prospects once, that we would lose 76% of our new customers?

But it gets worse -- because not only would we lose the first-time sale from each of those customers, we would also lose all of the additional purchases those customers would have made in the future. Plus, we would lose all of the sales from referrals from those lost customers.

One of the primary reasons that we have been able to build a business on the Web that creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales each year so quickly, is because we understand how important it is to build our prospect lists and follow up with our prospects over and over and over again.

THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS WHY PROSPECTS DON'T BUY IMMEDIATELY

There can actually be a variety of reasons why prospects don't buy from you on your first follow-up.

  1. They may not really be interested in what you are selling.
  2. They may not be ready, yet.
  3. They may need more information.
  4. They may still be researching other vendors.
  5. They may not be sure about your quality.
  6. They may not be sure about your reliability.
  7. They may not be sure if you are offering the best price.
  8. They may not be sure if you offer the best features and benefits.
  9. They may not have the money yet.
  10. They may have other, more pressing priorities right now.
  11. Their problem may not be serious enough to take action yet.
  12. They may be confused, etc.
As you can see, not being interested in what you are selling is just one of many possible reasons that your prospects may not buy from you after your first follow-up with them.

People become ready to buy at different times depending on many variables. Some may be ready to buy now, some may be ready in a few weeks, and others may not be ready for six months or more.

To generate the most customers and sales, it's vital that you are uppermost in your prospects' minds when they are finally ready to buy.

Many of your prospects are going to buy from someone. If you are uppermost in their minds when they are ready, you have an excellent chance that they will buy from you.

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